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Fargo-Moorhead diversion channel project receives federal authorization

Published June 10, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Fargo, N.D/Moorhead, Minn., diversion channel project achieved another milestone today, June 10, when President Barack Obama signed the Water Resource Reform and Development Act of 2014 into law, authorizing construction of the project.

This act, last passed in 2000 and 2007, provides authorization for development of projects by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers across the nation.

The project will reduce flood risk for more than 200,000 people and 70 square miles of infrastructure and will involve the construction of a 36-mile long diversion channel located in North Dakota that will direct floodwater around the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area. The project will temporarily store up to 150,000 acre-feet of floodwater immediately upstream of the diversion channel inlet in order to minimize downstream impacts.

“Receiving authorization for construction is the most important event in a project's history. Congress is saying it's within the public interest to build and makes it eligible for construction funding,” said Col. Dan Koprowski, commander of the Corps’ St. Paul District. “This project is one of the top priorities of the Corps’ Mississippi Valley Division, and we will continue to work hand-in-hand with our local partners to ensure flood risk reduction is provided in a timely manner."

Now that the project has been authorized by Congress, the next step includes appropriation, or funding. The Corps and Diversion Authority will continue to optimize the diversion channel and associated features to reduce impacts, costs and increase value. 

The nearly 650 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, employees working at more than 40 sites in five upper-Midwest states serve the American public in the areas of environmental enhancement, navigation, flood damage reduction, water and wetlands regulation, recreation sites and disaster response. Through the Corps’ Fiscal Year 2011 $175 million budget, nearly 2,800 non-Corps jobs were added to the regional economy as well as $271 million to the national economy. For more information, see



Public Affairs

Release no. 14-050